Nikon D800 10-pin connector issue

Nikon D800 with broken 10 pin connector
Nikon D800 with broken 10 pin connector (click to open larger, in a new window/tab)

EDIT: the D800 is now an eight or more years old camera. If you still have one with a broken 10-pin connector, I cannot help you in your negotiations with Nikon, and will not give any recommendations. Thanks.


To the right is my D800. It’s 1.5 years old, out of warranty, and when I wanted to plug in the remote a couple of days ago, the connector came lose and is useless now (you can see it’s off-center).

If you’re a D800 user, please check your 10-pin port. Gently pinch it with your little finger (if you dare, and at your own risk of course, I hope you understand). If it moves or wiggles, it will break sooner or later, and look just like mine, in the photo (it doesn’t wiggle or move on my 4 year old D700 at all, by the way).


A brief internet search, like typing just “D800 10” into a Google search box brings up an auto-complete suggestion for “D800 10 pin issue” and searching for that reveals over 100,000 search hits to photo forums and sites where users describe that their connector broke. That’s a very broad search, but narrowing it down by including the words “broken” etc. still returns many results.

Among them, this archived Nikon Rumours Forum thread where no less than ten individual users are reporting this very problem (partly documented with the serial numbers of the cameras). Ten users, in a single forum thread! Similar discussions can be found in the D800 group on Flickr, in the DPReview forums, etc.

From my point of view, this looks a lot like there is a design and/or quality control issue with at least a certain batch of this camera. Most cases that I’ve found online are from the second half of 2012. Which is exactly the time that I bought my D800.

Sometimes the connector broke within only days, or even when plugging in a remote for the very first time (link to forum post). These cameras were either exchanged by the dealer, or repaired by Nikon under warranty. Cameras that were returned to the dealer because of this defect must have gone back to Nikon for repair as well.

While already in contact with Nikon’s US Service, further research then led me to the German “Nikon Fotografie-Forum” where there is an eight pages long thread about the problem, again with multiple affected users. Interestingly, one user (whom a local Nikon Service Partner initially wanted to charge for the repair) communicated with Nikon through his lawyer, and in their reply, Nikon Service Germany admitted back in November 2012 already that the failing 10-pin connector is a known problem. I have a scanned copy of that letter. The user quotes the most important parts in red in this post (it’s in German). So Nikon knows about the problem.

What I also learned (from prolific Nikon writer and commentator Thom Hogan, whom I contacted) is that, if Nikon repairs the 10-pin port of affected D800’s, they are adding a fix that was not part of the original design, to avoid that it will break again.


After I went to Nikon’s website and browsed the D800 support area for an official statement (and couldn’t find any) I called Nikon’s support to ask what the deal is with this defect when my camera is out of warranty. The only answer I got from the support agent was that I need to send in my camera before he’d be able to help me.

Now a local repair shop told me that I could be looking at repair costs of ~$400* because the camera needs to be disassembled quite a bit (it involves replacing the rubber grips because some of the screws are under the rubbers). I broke stuff in the past, and I paid for the repairs**. I’m not stingy, but I don’t have money to waste either. Not for something that appears to be a design/QC issue.

The service agent on the phone registered my camera in their system and opened a case, to which I replied on the same day, repeating that it appears this problem is a fairly widespread issue for the camera, and stating that I’m unwilling to pay even for shipping unless Nikon can tell me that they’re aware of this problem, and will fix it for free. I also asked that the case be escalated to a supervisor if the agent wasn’t able to give me more information. I made it very clear that I didn’t break the connector (just like it didn’t break when I was using the same remote on the D200 body, and my D700).

After another reply from the agent that I need to send the camera in before Nikon would tell me anything, I repeated my wish that the case be escalated and attached the above image of the broken connector to the conversation – which looks just like the dozens of other images on the internet. Seriously, one look at that image should tell them enough.

The following day, a Nikon Supervisor responded, stating “We can tell you that we do not have known issues of this nature with the D800. A damaged port is usually considered user error and not a manufacturer’s defect” and also that Nikon would not comment on 3rd party websites (in response to my pointing out the numerous cases documented on internet forums, again). I would like to give that person the benefit of doubt because there are many Nikon cameras and many service cases. But then again, it doesn’t shed a good light on Nikon’s internal service processes: assuming that the supervisor didn’t lie to me in her response, it means that Nikon didn’t communicate this issue internally (see above; I have a copy of a letter from Nikon Germany’s head of the service department, Michael Wollburg, to a law firm, in which he confirms that the failing 10-pin connector is a known issue). Do I really want to believe that? Hmmm.

In my response, I kindly asked the supervisor to check the available information again, stating that I find the comment “this is user error” a bit odd, to say the least. I compared the D800’s 10-pin connector to a power outlet in a wall. If the outlet disappears into the wall when you try to plug in a socket, it’s probably not “user error” – and I went on to express that we’re talking about a $3000 camera body, and that I have higher expectations on both the built and service quality that I’m buying with such a product.

The supervisor’s reply was brief, repeating that the warranty is 1 year from purchase, and “therefore regardless your warranty has expired.” – I was angry being brushed off like this despite the note of a possible discount once the product was received for service and evaluated. I didn’t want to bargain for a discount. I wanted Nikon to get real, and behind their products, especially if there’s problems with them. I asked for the case to be escalated, once more (I had to ask the first service agent twice, and I had to ask the supervisor twice).

Two days later, a Nikon Service Relations representative responded, offering me a complimentary repair “for good customer relations” if a technician would not determine impact damage or misuse of the product.

I told the representative that I wouldn’t expect the repair “for good customer relations”, but because Nikon is committed to the quality of it’s products, and handles such issues with awareness, openness and honesty. I mentioned that the way Nikon has handled issues with the D800 and D600 was worrisome to me (see also: “The Missing Nikon D800/D800E Press Release” by Bob Vishneski – should I draft one of these for the D800’s failing 10-pin connector, perhaps?)


On April 14th, I sent my camera to the Nikon Service Center in Los Angeles. Shipping and insurance amounted to over $60, via UPS.

On April 18th Nikon sent me an automated service acknowledgement and estimate for a “B2 repair”, which is $224 plus $12.50 shipping (which means they ship without insurance, by the way – seriously?). This would be the price to repair what is actually a design or QC flaw in some D800 and D800e cameras.

I had added the reference number of the conversation in Nikon’s service system to the documents when sending the camera in. To receive an automated estimate which made it necessary again to contact them was a disappointment.

After adding one more reply to the already lengthy conversation, another support agent answered on April 21st that the estimate was sent out automatically, the amount had been taken out, and that the repair will be free of charge to me.

On April 29th, the camera was delivered back from repair. The repair invoice includes replacement of the remote terminal and the rubber grips (as expected, because most screws are under the rubbers), cleaning of the image sensor (yay!), a general check & clean, and “adjust auto focus operation” – I can only guess that this means they checked my camera for the left area auto focus issue as well. Good! And as stated in ** below, the repair itself was (once more) done well as far as I can see, and the camera is clean and looks great.


I could be satisfied at this point. But the lack of an official statement (like the one Nikon finally issued for the D600 dust/oil spot issue, way too late, and only after being threatened by a class action suit and receiving a ton of negative publicity) doesn’t make me happy. Maybe there is an implied admittance that they know about the problem when I was offered the complementary repair if no impact damage or misuse would be found.

Why it took me several days of discussion with Nikon’s service to get to this point is completely beyond me. This would have been the answer I expected from the first service agent that I spoke with, right on the phone: “It’s a known problem, if you send it in and there is no evidence of impact damage or misuse, we will repair it free of charge, regardless of the warranty.” – is it so difficult to be honest and customer friendly?

The way it is now, my free repair is still a single, isolated case, and I have the feeling that, if I hadn’t insisted and kept replying and arguing, I would’ve paid the full $224 plus $12.50 return shipping. That’s why I’m documenting it in this blog post, to create a reference for others who run into the same problem, especially when their camera is out of warranty.

And you can help me and other D800 users: please share this post (sharing buttons below) so that others can check their port, preferably while their camera is still within warranty, to safe them the trouble I’m having now. Thank you.

*) interestingly, they also told me that they have the parts in stock because they “repaired a couple of them already” – I don’t know if those were warranty repairs or not, but if a local repair shop knows immediately what I’m talking about when I call them, how can the official Nikon USA support claim that they don’t know about any issue with the port?

**) and I’d like to add that, with the three lens repairs that the Nikon service in LA did for me in the past, as well as the minor repairs at the local, authorized service center, I had absolutely nothing to complain about. Only the lack of a shipping notification from Nikon, and the fact that UPS just drops off a $1000 lens at the door without signature are a bit problematic, in my opinion.

56 thoughts on “Nikon D800 10-pin connector issue

  1. Hi, i had the same issue on the FIRST shoot with my D800.I set up the shot, put filters on and then pushed the release. Nothing happened and i saw it was loose… i was lucky with the garanty but i was pissed. Hope you get this solved!


    1. Thanks for your feedback, Felix. I appreciate it. Glad to hear this happened to you while your camera was under warranty and you got it fixed without problems.


  2. I have the same pb … an old pb for me. Since my first use of remote few months ago … but, i use my D800 every weeks for my job, i never send it during my warranty (with Nikon Pro, having an SLR replacement is a true fighter runs when we are little and unknown pro photographers).
    But now, i’m really boring to can not use my remote because i want long exposure and others photographs that require remote.
    Thanks for your post, now i know that it’s possible to do not pay for repair it ! …


  3. Thank you for this information. After about a year and a half of careful use, my 10 pin just broke. My friends D800e 10 pin broke after the first month. I’m now worried about the expense of fixing. I hope I can convince them it should be free of charge.


  4. Hi Alexander – a very interesting post! My D800 has the same problem but it only occurred after the warranty was up – I’m a careful user and was using a Nikon approved cable release (MC-10) which I’ve used without difficulty on my previous D200 and D300. My retailer claims that he’s never had a return for this issue with any D800 and suggested I contact Nikon. Their Nikon Europe customer services are insisting that I send the camera to them for inspection and repair (at a charge) and also deny that this is a known problem. Any chance of a copy of the letter from Michael Wollburg to support my efforts to convince them that this might be a design/quality control problem? Have you had much response to your request from data from other users experiencing the same problem? Any pointers you can give me would be most useful. And thanks again for the above info and congrats on a successful resolution of the issue with regard to your own repair.


      1. Hi Alex – Thank you so much for your e-mail and the excellent advice/documentation. I tried to respond to you but my e-mail returned ‘undelivered’. I’ll keep you posted on this blog re my progress with Nikon on this issue.


      2. If you get that error it means your sending mail server doesn’t encrypt the message in transit, the service I’m using rejects clear text messages to this address. You can remove the “secure” string from the address to send messages without in transit encryption. Sorry about that, but your mail provider should really use encryption (it accepted my message, so it’s perfectly capable of handling it;-).


      3. Hey Alexander, could you I also get a copy of that letter from Michael Wollburg?


  5. Very interesting post. My D800 seems to have the same issue. After two uses of a cable release the port stopped working. Thinking that it was my cable release, I tried an intervalometer with the same result. Looks like I will be sending in my D800 for repair. Thank you for the information that you provided!

    Also have a D600 with the oil issue. I will be sending it in for a third time (hopefully for repair/replacement at this point). I have to say that I find it troubling that Nikon can’t seem to release new cameras without issues (see D600, D750, D800 defects) and then fails to acknowledge the problems when users send in their bodies for service.

    I am wary at this point to purchase any new bodies until waiting several months for any defects to be found/fixed. Canon is looking like a more attractive alternative but would be a costly switch.

    Again thank you for this helpful article!


    1. Glad to hear that my post is helpful. Well, I think Nikon has learned – the D750 internal reflection issue is being handled much better than the problems with the D600 and D800. D750’s have been pulled from the shelves and there’s a service bulletin on Nikon’s website which allows one to get the process started, free shipping to Nikon included. I wish they would have handled the D600 and D800 issues like that.


  6. I certainly hope this is going to a lawyer and there is a legal proceeding against Nikon on this and on behalf of all the people that supplied their serial numbers. I just got off the phone with a Supervisor at Nikon and asked him for the numbers of how many they have repaired and how many reported incidents they have of the 10 pin breaking. The guy told me they don’t have that information. On the phone I told him he was full of it. I build these systems for a living and know they track it. I told they guy it is disgusting how they treat their customers. I quoted all the equipment failures they have produced in the last couple of years and hide behind saying ‘it is your fault, it couldn’t possibly be us’. The guy just kept repeating over and over again. ‘Your camera is out of warranty, there will be a service charge’. Nice puppet, Nice public relations!!!!!!

    Cannon is looking nicer everyday!!!!


    1. I didn’t spend too much time on the phone with Nikon, fortunately. I did my conversation in written form through their ticket system once I had created a ticket and got the usual reply-template. I can’t understand why they are still handling this particular issue so poorly.


  7. Alexander,
    I see a request for that letter. I will probably have to send my camera in. I would like that letter to accompany my camera in the box.


    1. The letter is in German – do you think it will help? All personal information in it has been blackened. I didn’t include it when I sent my camera in. It wasn’t necessary after insisted on escalating the issue to a manager.


  8. Thanks Alexander, here is an update to my note above on my contact with Nikon.

    The second service person I talked to, who returned my call later in the day called me back the next day. He apologized for leaving off with me on such a bad note. It was actually I who was upset, but….

    He said he pushed it up to his supervisor and said the agreed they would offer a complimentary repair of my camera and 10 minutes later there was a prepaid shipping label in my email box addressed to a person in the Mineola, NY repair facility. The same location I just sent my 24-70 lens to. Nikon did the right thing and I am happy this is resolved. If I break something I don’t mind paying for it, like the $700 for the 24-70. The D800 was handled well by Nikon in the end. SO I have a Wedding to shoot on 2/14. The camera will go out 2/16. I will repost when I get it back.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Went to Amsterdam for a photoshoot last Thursday and once there I was about to connect my geotagger (Aokatec) to the 10-pin connector only to find it looking like the one you have in your photo, pushed in a bit and wiggly. Spoke to Nikon support center once I got back to Sweden, and also pointed out that I have seen a lot of forums/comments about people having this kind of problems with their D800, and the only response I got from them was “Sorry to hear you have this problem with your D800, but it’s not a known issue”. I have sent a mail to them as well to see if they are willing to tell me what the cost will be to repair it. Just like you, I purchased my D800 in the second half of 2012.
    hopefully they will get back to me with information within short.
    I might send you a request for that letter as well, Alexander.


    1. Really sorry to hear that. This continued denial from Nikon is making me furious. Stay persistent, try to get your case escalated to a service manager. Let me know when you need a copy of the letter (private information in it will be blackened).


      1. Hi Alexander, I have been in touch with Nikon Sweden now and they “don’t know about this problem”, yada yada yada. Could you please send me a copy of the letter so I can have their service manager see that it DOES exist and perhaps soften and fix this issue for me as well? (no problem about private information being blackened).


  10. Just recently had the same issue. Was using D800 for more than a year almost always with the remote control and finally the connector broke. I’d quite bad experience with Nikon service here in Sydney in the past (they even broke me a lens) so thinking about fixing it by myself instead of sending it to them. Did you know if there were any successful attempts for that? If no may be you can share the letter with me so I can argue with our Nikon Service. Previously similar information helped me with replacing faulty CCD on my old D70 – well known issue (red dots/lines on high ISO, but not to be confused with hot/dead pixels), but Nikon didn’t accept that. Only with the info from other customers I was able to fix the camera.


    1. I do not know anyone who fixed the camera themselves. As far as I understood it, it is quite an ordeal because you need to take the whole thing pretty much apart (you’ll need new rubber grips in the process, for example).

      The letter I have is from Nikon Germany, so it is in German. If you think that helps I can send you a copy with the private information blackened.


      1. That’s pity. But I just received a quote from a local camera repair shop. It would cost around $200 – $250 and about a week. So I probably go with them.

        If the letter is in German then no need for that. Anyway they won’t be able to read it and my translation won’t be accepted anyway. 🙂

        Thanks for your help, Alexander!


      2. Not yet. Their usual answer is: “Leave the camera with us. We will get back to you with a quote within 10 business days.” I’ve got a few important shootings coming in the next few weekends to do not want to leave the camera for too long. Can do that in mid-May when it’s easy, but not now.


      3. I understand. And yes, that’s what they were trying to coax me into as well at first. “Camera needs to be with us” – I just kept annoying them. 😉


      4. I had this problem, Just before sending it in for repair I looked around and got the feeling this was a defect. Landed on this site in the search. Armed with all the information I made the call. I got past the ‘bitchie’ 800 number girl to the manager, then to the next manager in the chain and I got so upset with him I slammed the phone down after explaining to him the amount of Nikon equipment I had. He called back the next day and apologized for the way we left off and there was a packing slip in my EMAIL for me to send the camera in for a complimentary repair. They fixed it. I am now having issues with my QFLASH TRIO on the camera. Sometimes it fires WAY under power and I miss the shot. The flash reports EXPOSURE OK. So do the other two QFLASHs I have on the same camera. No issues with these flashes on my D700. Trying to get help on this with no success.


      5. I remember reading something about flash problems with the D800, but I think it was only with the internal flash triggering remotes, and I believe a firmware update fixed it.

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I kept the conversation with the Nikon service on email because the guy slamming down the phone could have been
        me as well. 😉


  11. My 10 pin terminal in Nikon D800 also broke 2 weeks ago. The camera was bought in 2012. I contacted Nikon USA by the phone, received a case # and sent camera body to Nikon USA in LA. I am a Nikon fan for a long long time and this time Nikon just PROVED that this is the best company to deal with. Just wanted to mention that the camera was bought in 2012.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Am now a happy camper again. Sent in my camera to Nikon Sweden to have my 10-pin contact fixed as well. Just before sending it in I was in the situation where I didn’t know if I would have to pay for myself or not. But have had contact with a wonderful support person that eventually mailed me and said that they thought I had suffered enough and that Nikon would repair my camera on goodwill. So after two weeks without it, I got it back today for a cost of $0/€0/£0/any currency 0 !!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I also have the Nikon d800 bought in 2012 and just recently used the 10 pin connector for the first time ever and it pushed in moved to the side exactly like yours. It is obvious there is nothing behind it and it is a Nikon default even worse I brought it for repairs they said would be about $224 I mention that they should be able to know that is a Nikon default as when you touch it just falls back (nothing supporting) I called today as I had not heard back and they said they did not start on it and it would cost $423.74….when I brought the originally quote up they said ok I can mark you requested a discount and we will give you that price ….that was the original quote not a discount, feeling stressed as I have to shot in 4 days. Not happy with Nikons as I see they do not back there errors


    1. Sorry to hear that, Tonia. If you think it will help, please refer them to my blog post. I can also send you the letter I have from Nikon Germany, where they admit it is a known error – though I don’t know how useful it will be, considering that it is German. Just let me know.


  14. Hi,

    I never used my 10 points port in my D800, but I checked it and found that YES it is loose.

    Anyway, the already had the camera since 2012 so as you said when I brought it to the local repair service, they are going to charge me US$500 (since I live in Oslo, Norway). I guess I will just use the camera as it is, and I really loose my trust and being a fan of Nikon since I had been using and owned Nikon since (D100, D200, D300, D700). Rest assure my new DSLR camera will not be Nikon, not because of the camera but because of the manufacturer and principle.

    Brgds. – Joey


  15. The connector on my original D800 also broke. It was obviously not manufacturered well. I haven’t had the same problem on my D800E but I assume it probably is prone to break and I try to be very careful when using the connector, because as you know it is really expensive to fix!


  16. I sent my D800 (original purchase date 8-30-12) to the Melville service facility with faulty 10 pin and it arrived 5-20-16. I received an estimate for a B1 rank repair for $150 on 5-25-16, plus tax and shipping for a total of $176.88 stating this repair is not covered under warranty. Although I did send a note requesting no charges be made due to the faulty design and referenced this web link as support for my “no charges” request. My 10 pin black receptacle was not depressed at all into the body, it appears only slightly twisted to the left in orientation. I telephoned their 800 number about 12 noon on 5-25-16 and spoke with Nina G, Nikon Tech Support who claimed she could not make the decision for no charges to be made and referred my request to a supervisor, all of whom were busy helping other customers, so I agreed to hang up and wait for a call back from a supervisor, for which I received an e-mail confirmation very shortly. The call back from a supervisor will be “today via phone but can take up to 24-48 business hours.” It might be helpful in my situation to have a link to the survey results as further back up for my upcoming conversation with the supervisor. My son speaks and reads German so it could be possible to get a translation of the letter written in German from Nikon Germany’s head of the service department, Michael Wollburg, At this point I plan to reference that letter when I speak with the supervisor. Thom Hogan also references the faulty design of the D800 10 pin port causing unnecessary repairs; and claims this is a design problem, not a user abuse issue. At this time (5-25-16, 3:30 p.m.) I have not yet received my phone call from the supervisor.


  17. My first call from customer service they wanted to give me a 25% discount before talking to a supervisor; then they tried to delay my contact with a supervisor by setting up a callback which was delayed until the next day. When I phoned the second day they offered me a 40% discount and said the supervisor was too busy and wanted to set up return call again; this was at 9:15 a.m. so I told them I would wait on hold until 8 p.m. when they closed. The supervisor, Nelson, picked up after about 5 min. There was very little conversation by either of us and he politely said he would change the order to a “complimentary repair so that there is no charge to you.” However, there is now a delay in returning the camera because its status of “parts hold”, at this time. I called on 6-1-2016, to question how long the delay would take and received an e-mail answer “Your parts hold is scheduled for repair by June 17,2016.” At this point I am going to try to get them to hustle shipment from Japan ,where I assume the parts are made, by quicker air, but I’m not sure the parts have been manufactured yet. Wish me luck. For all camera owners who follow me, remember Nikon’s policy is to try to make money whenever possible by first offering discounts like 25%, then 40%, that is why their customer service tech support are trained in this manner by Nikon to make every attempt to keep you from talking to a supervisor even though they will/should offer a free repair without question, but that will occur only if you get to talk to a supervisor, which you must insist happen and finally get a decision from them.


  18. I originally purchased a D800 at Samy’s in Los Angeles, a first batch and oddly I have just used the 10 pin connector for the first time last week 06/2016 with a purchased remote and needless to say I pluged it in twice, the third plug in made the assembly break, precisely as picture at the beginning of this thread. I am currently at my other house in Warsaw, Poland, where I have just contacted Nikon Poland without knowing of the common problem until today. I suspected a manufacturer fault, thus did a search finding this site. I was given an approximate estimate of PLN700, roughly an equivalent of $175 and a periot of 3 weeks to have it fixed post a drop off. Due to my upcoming trip where I will the camera I will go to Nikon tomorrow with an attempt to have this resolved without an expense. Here I would like to ask for any pertinent document indicating a zero charge and I greatly appreciate all your help. Thank you. S/N 3034318


  19. To update my status; my only other Nikon camera is a D200 and I have family visiting from overseas in mid-June 2016, so I decided to purchase a D810 to add to my Nikon professional level cameras, they currently cost a 15% discount from list price, in case the repair was delayed beyond the promised date of 6-17-2016. I just checked the repair status for my D800 today and it appears that the repair has been completed earlier than they promised (6-17-2016) since the status is “billing”. The tech support supervisor who approved the “complimentary repair so that there is no charge to you,” name is Nelson at Nikon USA Tech Support, for anyone needing a name reference, even in Poland. Be sure to speak with a supervisor, or higher, only, since it appears they plan to charge you full cost at $175, just the way they first charged me the same amount. Good luck.


  20. @Alexander S. Kunz, Thank you very much for the documents provision. I am very impressed with this little community on this particular topic. I will certainly respond with the outcome of my case here for all people in need of assistance on this issue. Once again, Thank you.


  21. My final status is that I received my D800 camera, repair completed, on 6-17-2016, and there was no charge for the repair. I have tested the 10 pin connector and it works like new, of course. Thanks to all for your help and assistance in getting the repair completed for no charge.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hello Alexander. I have the same issue. Any information you can provide to me to get my camera fixed without a charge would be great.


      1. Dear Alex
        Same problem with my d800
        I would appreciate any supporting material you can send me before I contact nikon

        mel levine


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